Guest Post-So I Failed My Driver’s Test – 4 SEO Basics That Will Make or Break You

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OK, so in keeping with the SEO kick I’ve gotten on the past week or two, this is a guest post by Remy Shepard on the importance of always sticking to the basic before branching out and getting all complicated.

This is applied to SEO strategies, however, I feel the basic message applies to just about everything in life.  Start with the basics and work you way up from there, and you can’t go wrong.  Hope you enjoy!

I was absolutely shocked when I got this test result back. I was just casually checking out The Oatmeal and I saw this quiz.

Now I consider myself a decent driver, and also a bit arrogant, so I checked it out.

Every question was met with a huff of contempt because I knew the answers.  “Ohphhh! pshh! This is easy stuff!” I scoffed as I scrolled quickly through the questions, not taking time to think my answers through.  I didn’t think them through because I knew them all already.

I mean, I’ve been driving for 6 years now, in multiple states.

I understand it.

Inside and out.  Right?

Much Like Your Driving, Your SEO Needs Work

How many times have you caught yourself going through the motions with your site’s SEO? Really ask yourself what your website’s SEO grade is.  Just because you’ve been doing it for six years like me, doesn’t mean you have it all figured out.

Life is all about the basics.

All advanced math principles you know build on the basic ones.  Same with your SEO strategy. Just because you think you have it all figured out doesn’t mean you don’t need to go back and check your basics.   So without any further attempts at poetic and engaging writing techniques:

4 SEO Basics That Will Make or Break You

  1. Have you checked your title tags lately? Make sure you have different title tags on each page of your website, and make sure each title tag contains keywords relevant to that page’s specific content.
  2. What about your description tag? Make sure the description meta tag contains no more than 160 characters that accurately describe your page.  Don’t just keyword cram, put one or two long-tail keywords in there, but make sure it’s readable by an actual person.  That is far more important than tricking the search engine algorithm.  I promise.
  3. Do your ALT tags relate? If you have a picture of Chuck Norris on your page (because every website needs an homage to Chuck in order to rank on Google), make sure the ALT tag doesn’t read, “BEST CARWASHES CHANDLER, CHANDLER CAR WASH” (I’m assuming your website washes cars).  Make sure the alt tag relates to the picture.  See, it’s about accessibility – not keyword cram sessions.
  4. 5% density – don’t kill us here. Make sure the first block of text to be hit on the page by the crawlers (usually the first paragraph) has about a 5% keyword density.  Just enough to get noticed for those words, not enough to make the users hate your face off when they try to read it.

These are four SEO basics that will make or break your SEO Strategy.  There is such an overflow of information on SEO and getting noticed by Google. I had a 30 minute conversation just the other day about SEO, and while all of the advanced techniques were in place in this person’s mind, I still had to go over the basics.

If you don’t have the foundation, you can’t succeed.  So ignore the overflow, and work on the basics.  When you truly have them down, you can add on from there.  But slowly.  And always check back with the basics!  I know, stressing the basics here.

Oh and Also…

That’s the real grade I got.

The first one was to make a joke.   And prove a point.  Mostly the joke though.

What about you? Do you still remember how to drive?  Let me know what you scored on your driving test, and how it’s affecting your SEO strategy in the comments below.

Remy Sheppard is the founder of Orange Disaster, a web production company based out of Phoenix, Arizona.  Generally, he can be found sitting around his apartment helping someone with SEO, blogging about Social Media, and designing nifty web creations.  On his days off he likes to spend time with his best friend and fellow metal-head Chuck Norris in the Amazon jungle, where they chug bottles of Tabasco sauce and wrestle anacondas.

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